Monroe College grants 50 scholarships for Vincentians
Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves (seated centre), President of Munroe College Marc Jerome, Senior Vice President of Monroe College Dr Alex Ephrem (far right) with some of the Monroe College First Generation Scholarship recipients
March 15, 2024
Monroe College grants 50 scholarships for Vincentians

by Jada Chambers

Monroe College has helped St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) step closer to its goal of having a university or college graduate in every household, by gifting full-tuition scholarships to 50 first-generation Vincentians.

Monroe College is a 90 year old educational institution that has a desire to create social mobility in financially-challenged families. The college, which is based in St Lucia and New York, ranks as one of the leading institutions in North America for empowering students from modest backgrounds, and has garnered recognition for its transformative impact on families from diverse backgrounds, particularly through its first-generation scholarship programmes.

Now, Monroe College has collaborated with the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, whose vision is to have one person in each household in the nation acquire a tertiary education. This collaboration has birthed 50 scholarships for Vincentians which cover full tuition allowing students to pursue higher education without financial barriers.

On Monday March, 11, 2024, president of Monroe College, Marc Jerome; senior vice president of Monroe College, Dr Alex Ephrem; Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Montgomery Daniel; other government officials; Monroe College alumni; and scholarship recipients, congregated at the Beachcombers Hotel for a momentous occasion to celebrate the collaboration between Monroe College and the government of SVG, as well as the 50 Vincentians who will benefit from this partnership.

The Minister of Finance said that the government is going to pay around EC$5,000 for Monroe College students who are attending school at the campus in St Lucia, and US$5,000 for Monroe College students who are attending at the campus in New York, and Monroe College will pitch in the rest of the tuition.

“So there will be no tuition cost for those students. That’s incredible! and we pick New York because the largest city of Vincentians in the world is in New York City. There are more Vincentians living in New York than there are living in any city here, and in fact, there are more Vincentians living in New York than there are living in St Vincent and the Grenadines, so we thought it was a good fit.”

Gonsalves continued that this initiative is going to cost the government between EC$250,000 and US$250,000 depending on which campus students choose to purse their education.

“But we think that’s money well spent,” Gonsalves pointed out. “And we think that’s money excellently spent because we have an excellent…[college]. We know we have excellent students, and we see this as an excellent opportunity for everybody to work together for the advancement of the students in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We couldn’t be happier to be here celebrating this moment. We’re going to be 50 more students closer to our goal,” he added. President Jerome said that the college was founded 90 years ago by his grandfather and great aunt, and that he is proud to be the president of the institution.

“The most rewarding part of my life has been implementing these first-generation programs. We started them many years ago in New York and that if you Google Monroe College, you will see that we’re recognised as one of the leading institutions in America, not for making rich people richer, but for taking families from modest backgrounds and moving them in up the economic ladder in something called social mobility.”

Jerome added that he takes his job very seriously and is totally committed to making sure that all students who started in this program, graduate and move up in their career and life.